Who doesn’t like a good action movie with cops involved? But cops are so much more than just the action. Let’s look at Hollywood’s favorite cops of all time and delve into why it is we love them so much. Do tell us if we missed out on someone. Presenting: Top 10 Hollywood Cops of All Time.
1. RoboCop from RoboCop
Who can forget RoboCop – the brutal policeman devoid of empathy in the dystopian future city of Old Detroit. In the movie, RoboCop has only three prime directives – Serve the Public trust, Protect the Innocent and Uphold the Law. RoboCop was earlier a catholic man named Alex Murphy who died at the hands of a criminal gang and thus was the perfect pick for the role because of his black and white sense of justice.
2. Alex Foley from Beverly Hills Cop
This street smart, a quick-witted cop who, on occasion, bends a few rules here and there features in this list. An all-time favorite, the character was originally written to be a reserved and brutal cop as opposed to the comical character we eventually saw on screen. This is because the role was rewritten when Eddie Murphy was signed for the film and the actor’s incredible comic timing played beautifully on screen and made this character iconic.
3. Popeye Doyle from The French Connection
The character of Popeye Doyle was based on an NYPD detective Eddie Egan. Popeye is seen as an alcoholic womanizer in the film, who comes off as rude, bends the whole rulebook, and has a ‘my way’ or highway attitude towards everything. Somehow, all this helped him achieve success as a cop. In the film, despite all his vices, he is a sincere cop who leads the Narcotics Department presently concerned with catching a group of French smugglers.
4. Bud White from L.A. Confidential
Bud White, the violent and aggressive cop who has the heart of a little boy and a huge savior complex is a favorite for many. He was raised in a home where his aggressive father abused and beat up his mother. When he realized he has inherited his father’s temper, he chose to channelize it towards the wife beaters. He was always on the lookout to rescue women out of abusive relationships. Later he also falls in love with a woman who is a prostitute by profession and was abused all her life, and protects her.
5. Agent K from Men In Black
“People are idiots.”, Agent K’s dialogue that makes us all violently nod our heads is one of the all-time favorites Hollywood cop for many. A seasoned cop who has seen it all is a little jaded but efficient nevertheless in doing street-level police work. His straight-faced attitude has many layers to it and is almost like a commentary to the funny role of Agent J.
6. Clarice Starling from The Silence of The Lambs
Although the most striking character from The Silence of The Lambs was that of Hannibal Lector played so brilliantly by Anthony Hopkins, it was actually the rookie FBI agent who was the protagonist in the film. Clarice was pulled out of the academy quite shortly before the graduation and yet there she was bonding with Dr. Hannibal Lector to find clues in relation to a murder mystery. She follows all the clues that the doctor gives her, despite knowing Bill’s identity as she picks up all the clues and reaches the killer, and manages to save his last victim.
7. Marge Gunderson from Fargo
Marge Gunderson is a simple Minnesota girl, always showcasing her nice manners, even while investigating criminals. She is nice to everyone yet extremely focused on her job, who has an eye for details everyone else overlooks. This role as Marge also won Frances McDormand the Academy Award for Best Actress.
8. William Somerset from Se7en
William Somerset is an old fashioned cop who gets assigned a young and impulsive new partner for his last case before hitting retirement. The two partners connect several death cases only to find out that each murder represented one of the seven deadly sins. At the end of the movie, he decides to not retire after all because the job is all he has, as he didn’t marry or raise a family.
9. Frank Serpico from Serpico
One of Al Pacino’s best performances, Frank Serpico was an idealistic cop who wanted to make a difference in the NYPD, but soon realized how corrupt the system is. He spoke to the media about corruption and did remarkable work during his entire life. In the end, he receives a medal for his bravery but still resigns from his job. He is an absolute favorite cop for many!
10. Samuel Gerard from The Fugitive
Yes, it is Tommy Lee Jones again, as Chief Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard. This man doesn’t bother himself with right or wrong and thinks his job is only to catch a man on the run. The rest is not his job to do. He is not brutal but very efficient when it comes to the serious business of catching a man on the run.